Hiker Box Diaries Episode 6: Shit And Run On The Pacific Crest Trail
They shit on our rug. Well, not on our rug, but our hardwood floor.
I strolled into Walker Pass, (PCT mile 652), after four and a half hot and grueling days. The PCT between Tehachapi and here were a bit more of a roller coaster than the trail had been previously. The PCT was marked with the most amazing wildflowers yet. Lupines and Indian Paintbrush sprung from the arid soil along the footpath and hikers were treated to desert rose, coreopsis and santolina as well. Beach sand was the predominant track. Though the climbs on the PCT are fairly gradual, they are much more problematic when dragging your feet through three inches of fine gravel. This is a generally waterless stretch that wasn’t as hard as first imagined, thanks to the incredible trail angels that stocked water caches in three or four crucial places on this Memorial Day weekend. The entire section was very hot, almost completely exposed and the group I am hiking with, decided to alter our hiking habits. We woke each morning at 3:00am and hiked 15 miles by 10:00am. We would then take six hours off in the middle of the day to siesta in the shade during the most brutal heat. We would then hike out in the evening as the sun went down.
On the morning of the fifth day out of Tehachapi, Poobah, Action Jackson, Nimbles, Tenure, Pockets, Corndoggie, Six Taco and myself walked out of the wilderness onto the highway at Walker Pass. We rented a house for a couple of days, and planned a cookout. It wasn’t a great place, but it was nice for the trail. The neighborhood was fairly sketchy, like I was walking down the mean streets of Long Beach in the “Nothing But a G Thang” video where Dre comes over to Snoop’s house.
Action Jackson and Poobah cooked a fantastic meal and we had very spirited discussions in the very comfortable home. Later, some friends from the trail stopped by and we took the discussion outside on the patio. Everything was going along fine, when suddenly our guests simply left. Not slowly. One minute they were in the side yard engaged in colorful trail talk, and then they were gone. Five guys left immediately without discussion or even a goodbye. After they left, we all cleaned the kitchen and remarked how rudely and expeditiously our guests had fled the scene. We prepared to go to sleep and “Tenure” came out to say goodnight to those of us who were not fortunate to get beds.
“Is that shit?” He asked.
“I think I just stepped in shit!”
I walked to inspect the bottom of the foot. It was shit. Human shit in fact. It was dabbed in 4 different spots on the floor beside the futon that Poobah was sleeping in. I tried my best to clean up the poo as quickly as possible. We were grossed out and laughing at the same time. We immediately understood why our guests left in such a hurry.
“One of them was shitstruck,” I claimed.
“The culprit had a bit too much to drink and they crapped their pants outside on our patio. He came into the house, and headed to the bathroom which was occupied. He returned to the patio, told the others that they needed to leave ASAP. Somewhere between the bathroom and the patio, a poop nugget fell out his pants. Tenure stepped on that poop nugget and smeared it on the floor. Case closed.”
Thoughts On Completing The Desert Section Of The Pacific Crest Trail
-The ultralight umbrella was a giant waste of eight ounces and space in my pack. I used the thing twenty minutes the entire trip. It doesn’t keep you as cool as one might suspect and it’s awkward and unwieldy to hike with.
-Food drops are unnecessary. I could buy what I needed easily along the way. I do appreciate the dinners that a mail drop affords me, but breakfast, lunch and snack options are easily accessed on the PCT.
-The desert wasn’t as consistently blazing as I thought and was colder than I ever imagined at times.
-“Hike Your Own Hike”, was a catchphrase coined by an absolute shameless “Yellow Blazer”. HYOH is popular phrase to emphasize that however one may decide to hike it’s all ok as long as it doesn’t interfere with another persons hike. There is a lot of yellow blazing going on out here. Not just around the fire closures either.
-I read “Wild” again this past week. I have criticized the book in the past and I appreciated it a bit more this time. Perhaps because I’m on the trail. The flashy, hyper descriptive style comes across much better on trail. I like Cheryl Strayed. She doesn’t pretend to be a thruhiker, nor did she attempt to be. Like “Wild” or not, she presents the PCT as place to “find your best self.” She loves the PCT and loves thruhikers, which is more than we will ever get out of Bill Bryson.
-We got 25 hikers under a single Joshua Tree during one siesta a few days ago. Insanity. Only Action Jackson slept.
-Campsites on this portion of the PCT feature four times more campers than they do on the AT.
-Poobah and I paid Corndoggie $20 apiece to stay in a rat, snake and spider infested Shack.
Corndoggie at the Snake Shack on The PCT pic.twitter.com/pRng9kDlwx
— DiggerPCT (@Takethisbread) June 1, 2016
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